Saturday 28 February 2015

Project 365 week 9

Well another bog standard week, nothing much exciting happening here, so I give you more of last week - food and geocaching, with four of the grandchildren thrown to balance it off.


Have been looking for handy nutritional foods to eat in between shifts at work. I get lunch at half eleven and don't get home for my tea until half seven so need something when I finish at two and the canteen is not open. So I cooked up some bananas and apples sprinkled with cinnamon. I then mixed up three eggs with some milk and poured it over the fruit, sprinkled some omega mix on topped and popped it in the oven for 15 mins until the egg was set. Very nice sliced it was.

eggs, fruit and omega mix


I went into the local park to pick up a new cache that is there and thought while I was there to go for my walk. But sadly they have shut off a lot of the paths as they are felling trees so I did not get as far as I expected, only managed two muddy miles, but I did find the new cache.

tree felling in progress


Between food and geocaching lately my life must seem repetitive, but hey ho I enjoy it, not to mention the exercise. Today when I was in town I checked my e-mails and noticed three telling me that three new caches had been published along the River Ayr walk. Well I was in the area and when I got chance to go and get them it appeared nobody else already had. In the world of caching there is a slight prestige in finding them first and logging them as a FTF ( first to find).

So I parked the car and was getting ready to set off when the heavens opened and the hailstones started, but I just dug out my waterproof trousers, zipped up both my jackets and set off regardless. I found the first cache, to find that two other cachers had beat me to it, but hey ho I was out now and so decided as the sun was out I would just carry on and get the other two.

I had just picked up the second cache and was leaving the scene when I spotted a couple walking along staring at their phone, acting like they were looking for a cache. and they were -  so I shouted "you have been muggled" and laughed.

They admitted they were looking for the cache, an they were one of the others that had beat me to the first cache, and it turned out they had also found the other one and this was their last. We had a good blether and introduced ourselves. So as at this stage my trousers were covered in mud from where I had slid down the muddy hill side I gave them the hint that the cache was at the top of the hill. So I managed to find all three of the new caches, walked two and a half miles, got battered by hailstones and covered in mud but I really enjoyed it.

Mr and Mrs Ayrbrain


Think there is a pattern happening here, we are back to food as I have not been anywhere interesting today and tea was a disaster from a photographic point of view, tasted good but fell apart just before I popped it in the oven.

I made some biscuits while I had the oven on. Peanut butter and oatmeal cookies with raisins in. Had some with a drink of hot chocolate.

only managed one,they were filling


Well its not food and its not geocaching. The older two came to stay today as they normally do on a Thursday. They decided when they got here they were going to play on their phones, one on Facetime and the other watching videos on youtube. After tea they decided to play with the knex bricks, so I left them to it. They came and got me to play games when they felt like it, so we had some happy families, some frustration and lastly deuce.

playing nicely with Knex


Is toddlers day, and as daughter runs the toddler group then Bob gets dropped off there. Had hoped to get a few action pics of the gruesome twosome enjoying playing with or on something, but both of them were grumpy and sitting on mum's knee, oh well maybe another week. Had I had my camera when I dropped  n on the way home I may well have got better pictures, like Minky playing with the cat basket - I mean what else when you have hundreds of toys?

on mums knee at toddlers


Back to food.....sorry

I bought a bag of bulgar wheat the other week and was looking for suggestions of what to do with it. A few people suggested throwing it in the bin as its tasteless, but I bought it because of the nutritional value. So if it is tasteless I needed to make it with something full of flavour.

I only made a smallish quantity as was not sure what it would be like. But I took a cup of orange juice and brought it to the boil, Added a banana cut into small pieces and tossed in some diced dried apricots and some raisins. Simmered for a few minutes, stirred in half a cup of the bulgar, switched off the heat and left it for thirty mins. For most normal people you could probably just stir the fruit in after it had cooled but I cant eat uncooked fruit.

Not sure why they spell it different but all google searcher come up with it spelt bulgur.

That is today's snack at work sorted

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky .

Thursday 26 February 2015

My first geocaching event will be a Flash Mob

We have been geocaching for nearly a year now and in that time we have attended various organised events including the odd flash mob. Well we have decided to take it one step further and organise our own Flash Mob. A flash mob for those that dont know  is "a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, before quickly dispersing. They are often used for the purposes of entertainment, satire or artistic expression".

We went to Stirling Castle the other week to see The Great Tapestry of Scotland. and thoroughly enjoyed it. They have added an extra date to the original schedule and it is now coming right here to my home town. 

So by way of celebration I have decided to have a flash mob. All of the Tapestries depicts various things Scottish and one of them shows Irn Bru and Tunnocks tea cakes, amongst other things.  

So my flash mob will be a "picnic" with your other national drink and a wee tea cake.

So if you are in Ayr on the 11th April at 3pm feel free and meet up with us in the boat vennel just across from the town hall.

You can read about my event on the geocaching web page. here.

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Our first geocaching outing of the year

We had a lot of fun geocaching last year, but between one thing and another we have not managed any together for a few months now. So as Daughter No2 (Auntie T)  was down last week we decided to spend some time together and took Bob off to do some geocaching. 

There were a few new caches in one of the parks locally so we decided to head off and find them first. We found the first cache together and then I let Bob look for the next one. He took us to within four feet of the coordinates but we just could not find it. 

navigating to the cache

So we widened our search and Bob managed to find an empty box. He was over the moon, thought he had found the cache. This we later found out was an unpublished cache that was waiting to be published at a later date. 

found one thats not yet published, a first for

Eventually we managed to find it, it was where we first suspected but the cover that was on it was really stiff and it took some pulling off.

After we had dealt with the caches we went to play in the park. We had been planning to go and play in another park but he spotted the swings and things so we decided to play here first. 

This was too stiff for Bob to move but Auntie T managed to move it a wee bit. 
Auntie T tries the sliders


By now the sky had gone really black and the heavens had opened and the hailstones were battering down. This did not seem to be bothering Bob and so Auntie T braved it and chased him across the climbing frame. I stood sheltered under the slide to take the photos. 

Bobs face is a picture as he taunts Auntie T

By this time it had just got too cold and wet so we headed back to the car and hoped it had passed over by the time we got to the next park. There were two caches here we thought about getting, but as they were quite a long walk away from the play area we decided to leave them for nicer weather. 

So when we got to the Dean Park we headed first off all for the animal corner. We spotted alpacas

romantic alpacas 

 and chickens

a bit different than our chickens

as well as deer,

at the deer

and various different types of ducks. One of them kept diving for food and sticking its bum in the air and shaking its feathers and Bob was in fits of laughter at this.

watching the ducks

We spotted a pair of kids, as well as rabbits guinea pigs, and a rusty metal dragon.

Bob read his way along the informative signs on the front of the education centre building, learning that a may fly only lives for an hour

reading the signs

and I have to say I did not know this, maybe this is why you can chop them in half and they still live. 


Once we had finished in the animal section he tried out the maze. He was not too successful but parts of it were broken so that is possibly why. 

in the maze

Further round we into the play ground, it is good here as they have a park suitable for under eight's and over eights, so Bob enjoyed the challenge of the over eight park. He is eight but smaller than the average eight year old. 

With a bit of encouragement and a few helpful instructions, as well as a few heart in our mouth moments he managed to get across onto this and successfully climb across the top. 

over the top

Then they both took it in turns to play on the rope slide

suitable for big kids 

as well as small

By now it was too cold for the camera and I put it away to have more fun. We all had a good laugh when he had a go on the fire mans pole. He had gloves on so his hands were very slippy. the first time his hands started to slide down before he could get his feet off the platform so we quickly grabbed him before he went down head first. The next time we assisted him to get his feet off whilst he was still upright, but his face was a picture as he hit the ground in less than a second as he went so fast.

By now we had been out for over three hours so we went home to get fed and warmed up.

Nice to be getting the weather to be getting back out some more.

Saturday 21 February 2015

Project 365 week 8 15th - 21st February

Hope you have managed to get something to eat this week before you popped by because for some reason it seems to be food oriented this week.


Following on with our low carbs, high protein eating and realising some of the foods we thought were good for us could be made better I am now adding sunflower and pumpkin seeds as well as a spoonful of crushed almonds on to my shreddies and soya yoghurt.

shreddies with soya yoghurt and added fruit and seeds. 


Went for a walk while I was in the town. A walk along the sea front, just for a change. It was lovely when I got out of the car, but as I walked along you could see the rain clouds closing in. Sadly they brought hail stones and they stung my face so I headed back to the car. Only managed two miles but better than nothing.

the hail coming in


I took one of the portions of chilli con carne out of the freezer that I had cooked last week, Topped it with a lentil mash and browned it under the grill. A thoroughly enjoyable meal.

chilli con carne and lentil mash


I went for a walk along the back road today. Have been up their with the twins a few times but have never gone all the way round. Was led to believe it was approx a four mile walk. So I just kept walking, four miles was actually six, thank goodness I had taken a bottle of juice with me.

Well I did warn you that this week was filled with food, not quite sure why but I don't seem to have taken much else this week. Tonight's tea was a fish and cauliflower mash.I cooked some potatoes and cauliflower and mashed them together. I fried off some white fish with peppers and onions with some spices then mixed the mash and fish together and browned it under the grill. It was served with green beans, and very yummy it was as well.  I appreciate it does not look too pretty.

fish pie


Daughter No2 had taken a weeks holiday. She had wedding stuff to sort out and spent a few days in Glasgow with her chief bridesmaid and her daughter. She was trying on her dress and the bridesmaids all had a fitting as well.

She headed down to spend a few days here and so we made the most of a break in the weather and took Bob to do a bit of geocaching and played in two parks. We did offer to take the babies but Bob wanted to go without them.

Had the grandchildren to stay and spent a pleasant evening the four of us playing board games and the wii.

Bob has the GPS machine


Was nice to get to spend some time with Daughter No2. Don't get to see a lot of her as more often than not she comes down at the weekends as she works during the week, but I work weekends so it is difficult to get quality time together, so today we went for a meal before she went back home.

dessert at Wetherspoons, they had nothing I could have


Carrying on with the food theme (sorry) I made some almond meringues just the two ingredients.  Totally GI free with good nutrition from the egg whites and the almonds and handy for the odd snack.

almond meringues

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Saturday 14 February 2015

Project 365 week 6 and 7 1st- 14th Feb


There are a few of these at various points round the road in and around the hospital. He always puts a smile on my face.


Went for a walk while I was in the town anyway. Along the sea front and back. Was quite pleasant on the way up with the wind on your back but not so pleasant with it in your face on the return leg. This is the Millennium Bridge that spans the small river as it runs into the sea. Before the year 2000 you had to walk all the way round from one side to the other, this makes the far side much more accessible. .


We have had no snow for ten days now, but the temperature has not risen much above freezing and so the snow is still frozen on the ground. The girls don't seem to fussy, they recognise the bag the worms come in.


Watched the gruesome twosome for daughter today as she had Bob at the dentist and it was to save her taking them with her. Not one tear or one temper tantrum was had by Dinky -  when mummy or daddy is there and somebody else looks at her she screams, well no mummy and daddy therefore no screaming - problem solved. We did have a few tears from Minky who got a row but that soon passed. He was sat on my knee photo bombing the pictures I was taking of Dinky.


Oh dear, I have slipped up, for the first time in all the years I have been joining in  - I missed a picture, well two actually. I had a dose of the flu, a full blown version, that made my digital camera that fits in the palm of my hand too big and heavy to pick up, switch on, point and shoot. The button would have taken more energy than I had to activate. Four days in bed, apart from leaving once to get driven to the doctors and staggering up and down the stairs to the bathroom.

So these two are actually staged as to what would have been my pictures.

Thursday was all about struggling with my peak flow, dropped uncomfortably low, thank goodness for blue inhalers


Had to get DH to drive me into the doctor today, by now I was feeling very very sorry for myself. Luckily we never have a problem getting an appointment, same day every day where we are. Was that sore etc I just did not know what to do with myself. A course of penicillin to save any other issues arising.


As I came down the stairs I noticed a nice red reflection shining out on the street. The sunset was amazing and my half hearted attempt at a photograph does not do it justice. Sadly we have nothing to line a sunset up with to get the full effect.


Have been utilising the tablet I won. It already has a kindle reader and an audio book programme on it, so I drifted off to sleep and back again with an audio book on. Had to keep doubling back to the same bit as I could not stay awake, but it helped to mask the tinnitus.


Difficult to do it any credit in a photograph, but this is a bird feeder Fifi made at school for me, very nice it is too. Going to put it on the shed where I can see it from the back windows.


Could not be bothered baking but did make a yummy treat.
I put sesame, pumpkin, sunflower and chai seeds along with some dried apricots and prunes into the food mixture and churned it all up. Melted some dark chocolate with some coconut cream and stirred the mixture through. Spread onto a baking tray and popped in the fridge. Much healthier than some of the things I have been eating lately.


We had a day out planned for Thursday last week, but it did not quite happen. So we went off today instead to see a piece of what will become history. We went to see The Great Tapestry of Scotland. It is currently at Stirling Castle, and we have memberships to get in for free we thought we may as well go and have a look.It covers the whole of Scottish history from the formation of the country, to early settlers, early buildings, and many many people over the years.

The tapestries  are amazing. The details and textures really make the pictures come to live. I love how the overall big picture on each individual tapestry is made from smaller pictures. People's faces make up larger people or buildings make up bigger buildings. It was an enjoyable three hours.

They even have a fab book showing each of the tapestries complete with the write up that compliments each one, but decided we could not justify the expense of the book.


Tomorrow is daughter No1's birthday. The children were over last night and wanted to make mummy a cake, so we did. They made it between them, and then Bob decorated the top, this was done in a Bob friendly fashion so he was not handling stuff he is not safe with. Fifi decorated the sides. Their mum loved it.


Have not done much shopping this last two weeks, so decided I needed to stock the cupboard an freezer.

Aiming to cook ( what I hope is ) more diabetic friendly food. DH's blood sugars have gone up slightly since the last batch of blood tests and he has not been feeling too good. Sadly there is a lot of differences of opinion as to what is good and what is not. I have decided we are going to aim at more protein, more pulses, more veg and less carbs, and plan to change them to wholemeal carbs.

So today's batch cooking is chilli con carne with lentils added as well as the kidney beans and vegetables.  Cubed beef in a black bean sauce with cannellini beans and a pot of carrot and lentil soup made with bacon for added protein.

I now have a nice full freezer.


Daughter No2 gave me this book a while back, going to be using it a lot more in the near future for ideas and inspiration.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Sunday 1 February 2015

Shortening a louvre blind

Last week I was fortunate enough to get a new window in my living room. BUT all was not as well as I had expected. My new windows and doors were fitted by a local reputable company. Measured up by a qualified surveyor who tells us ( as did the salesman) that they make the windows the same size as what we have, that they are made to fit the hole not the hole to fit an off the peg window.

So when it was a over last week and the fitter left we went to put our blind back up. We were really really annoyed to find that the blinds did not fit. Not only was the inside width marginally smaller so that the actually fitting rail did not fit but they had also made the height shorter than it had been so my blinds would now sit on the window sill even if the width had been ok.

Now had it been a Venetian blind we could have trimmed the slats by equal amounts both sides, but as a louvre blinds fitting has moving parts at both ends it was impossible to shorten it to make it fit.

So we went and bought a bottle of pink stuff to paint onto the window so you could not see through the window into our living room while we decided what to do about the situation.

So firstly DH had to drill a hole in the new wooden surround that had been fitted to allow the fitting rail to be fitted back in place. Once that was done we put the slats back up. These just would not open and close correctly or sit neatly on the windowsill. So I knew I had to shorten them, it was just a matter of how.

I had a good luck at the way the blinds were made. They only needed shortening by less than a quarter of an inch. Due to the way they are made at the bottom the bottom was not a viable way to shorten them so that just left the top.

On closer inspection the top was held together by a row of glue on each of the surfaces.

 So using an iron I heated the glue enough to be able to pull the two ends apart. This allowed the fitting in the top of the slat to be removed. I then cut the hole to make it longer

I lined the fitting up with the bottom row of glue that is still clearly visible and then cut a strip of wonder web to the same width as the blind. I placed the wonder web above the fitting and folded over the blind and the wonder web and ironed it into place.

I left each one to cool to make sure the web was stuck properly while I did the next one and then hung each one back up.  I did this with the blinds up to keep them under control and I then only had to worry about one at a time. 

It did the job, they now sit up off the windowsill and open and close correctly. 

the finished window

Sadly they also measured the back door wrong and to accommodate the back door we had to remove a full size fitted cupboard. It is not as easy to taken an inch off of the front of it. The kitchen will require an awful lot more work and our full size fitted cupboard will never be a fitted cupboard again. Makes you wonder how these people get their measurements so wrong. 

update DH has moved out the cupboard totally cleaned all the wall, filled all the holes,  painted it white, and papered the bit that will now show.

the rather messy wall
 Filled in the gap and added laminate flooring under the cupboard where there was none so the cupboard will sit level

missing laminate

 and put it all back. I now have a 3 inch gap between the wall and the cupboard but at east I still have the cupboard to use. 

ready for the cupboard

Annoying that we had to do this work, but apart from time it cost us nothing.